THE CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE OF SOLUBLE E-CADHERIN IN NONSMALL CELL LUNG CANCER
Aim: Aberrant expression of the epithelial transmembrane adhesion molecule E-cadherin (E-cad) has been associated with many human malignancies. In the present study the clinical significance of serum levels of soluble E-cadherin (sE-cad) in newly diagnosed patients with non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) was investigated. Material and Methods: An enzyme linked immunospecific assay (ELISA) to determine the circulating levels of sE-cad in 20 newly diagnosed patients with NSCLC as well as in 29 healthy volunteers (control group) was used. Results: NSCLC patients exerted increased circulating levels of sE-cad compared with individuals of the control group (p < 0.001). An association was also detected between serum sE-cad levels and the development of distant metastases. On the contrary, no statistically significant correlation could be established with histological type, gender and smoking habits. Patients with increased sE-cad levels at diagnosis had worser outcome, although multivariate analysis failed to demonstrate that sE-cad levels represent an independent prognostic factor of survival. Conclusion: Our data suggest that E-cad plays a role in the pathogenesis of NSCLC. sE-cad levels may be further studied as a potential prognostic biomarker.
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